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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

Nov. 14, 2006

Football Bearcats Land Nine on All-MIAA First Team; Tjeerdsma Wins Coach of the Year for the 8th Time

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Northwest Missouri State football team placed nine players on the All-Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) First-Team, announced today by the MIAA offices. It is the most since 2004 when the Bearcats also placed nine on the First Team.

On the offensive side of the ball, junior running back Xavier Omon (Beatrice, Neb.), sophomore wide receiver Kendall Wright (Sulphur Springs, Texas), junior tight end Mike Peterson (Atlantic, Iowa) and lineman Reid Kirby (Gladstone, Mo.) all were honored. It is the second All-MIAA First-Team selection for Omon, who also received the honor in 2004, and was placed on the Second Team in 2005. Peterson was honorable mention in 2005. It is the first such award for the rest of the offensive first-team selections.

Five senior defensive players were picked from the No. 1-ranked defense in the MIAA. Two defensive linemen, Kyle Kaiser (Elkhorn, Neb.) and Ryan Waters (Independence, Mo.), two linebackers, Ben Harness (Jefferson City, Mo.) and Thomas Smith (Denver, Colo.), and one defensive back, Diezeas Calbert (Omaha, Neb.), were selected on the defensive side of the ball. Harness was a unanimous selection while the other Bearcats were recognized for the first time in the league's top team. Waters and Harness both received Second-Team All-MIAA in 2005, while Kaiser made honorable mention twice.

Five Bearcats were selected to the Second-Team All-MIAA. There were two offensive players, junior quarterback Josh Matthews (St. Louis, Mo.) and senior lineman Joe Holtzclaw (Sedalia, Mo.), and three defensive players, junior lineman Dallas Flynn (Blair, Neb.), junior linebacker Jared Erspamer (Omaha, Neb.) and sophomore defensive back Brandon Clayton (St. Louis, Mo.), that earned All-MIAA honors for the first time.

All-MIAA Honorable Mention selections rounded out an additional six Northwest players for a total of 20 Bearcats selected for honors. Head Coach Mel Tjeerdsma received Wilson/MIAA Coach of the Year for the eighth time and the first time since 2002. It is his fifth undefeated regular season since his inaugural season in 1994.

Northwest (11-0, 9-0 MIAA), the top seed in the Southwest Region, earned a first-round bye in the NCAA Division II playoffs and will host the Nov. 25 game at 12 p.m. CST at Bearcat Stadium.

First Team Selection Notes:
#2 Junior running back Xavier Omon (Beatrice, Neb.) - Harlon Hill Candidate
• Sat out last week with rib injury
• Broke career all-games rushing record, previously held by David Jansen, with 144 yards on 35 carries against #16 Missouri Western (Sept. 23) - he currently has 4,200 yards.
• Tied single-game school record with four rushing TDs against Emporia State (Oct. 7) - holds the most by a Northwest rusher all-time (all-games) with 49.
• Stands eighth on the MIAA career top 10 rushing list (all games).
• Has rushed for 100-plus yards in 13 of his last 17 games overall.
• Has totaled 21 career games (in 36 total) of 100-plus rushing yards and three games over 200 yards.
• Looks to become the 2nd running back since 1965 to have three straight 1,000 rushing seasons (2004-06) - needs 18 more this year to surpass 1,000 yards.
• Went for season-best 166 yards on 23 carries at Central Missouri (Oct. 28).
• Stands with most career playoff rushing yards (856) and rushing touchdowns (9).

#4 Sophomore wide receiver/returner Kendall Wright (Sulphur Springs, Tex.)
• Went for his first career 100-yard receiving game with 128 yards on six catches against Minnesota State (Sept. 2).
• Posted his third career 100-yard game with personal-high 179 yards on nine catches at Washburn (Oct. 14).
• First on the team with eight catches of 30 yards or more this season; 879 total yards and 62 catches.
• Became first Bearcat in two seasons to return a punt for a touchdown - 68 yards at Missouri Southern (Sept. 30).
• Stands first on the Northwest career punt return average list (all games) at 14.3 yards.
• First on the team and 24th in the NCAA with 79.9 yards receiving per game.

#89 Junior tight end Mike Peterson (Atlantic, Iowa) - 2006 Captain
• Earned one more year of eligibility with his transfer - currently enrolled in graduate school at Northwest.
• On his second catch of the season, scored from 34 yards in win over Minnesota State (Sept. 2).
• Third on team in catches (24) and second in yards (401) - averages 16.7 yards per catch as he has four receptions of over 30 yards.
• Posted a career-best two touchdowns on four catches for 65 yards at Washburn (Oct. 14).
• Set a career-best 150 yards on nine catches - the fifth highest yardage in a National Championship by a receiver.

#71 Junior offensive lineman Reid Kirby (Gladstone, Mo.)
• Has started every game this season at left tackle.
• Has helped three separate running backs go over 100 yards in a game this season.
• Part of an offensive line that has the second best rushing offense in the MIAA.

#31 Senior linebacker Ben Harness (Jefferson City, Mo.) - 2006 Captain
• Came up one tackle shy of his career-high with eight tackles against Nebraska-Omaha (Sept. 9).
• Third on the team with 42 total tackles and tied for first with 10.0 tackles-for-loss.
• Compiled career-high 3.0 tackles-for-loss including six total stops at Washburn (Oct. 14).

#42 Senior linebacker Thomas Smith (Denver, Colo.)
• In his second career game at Northwest, logged 12 tackles (nine solos), 1.0 sack and 2.0 TFL’s against #10 Nebraska-Omaha (Sept. 9) - earned MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors. The 12 stops were the most in a single game by a Northwest defender since current Bearcats graduate assistant Chad Bostwick recorded 13 in 2004.
• First on the team with 65 total tackles, including 42 solo stops.
• Had nine tackles and 1.5 sacks in win over #8 Pittsburg State (Nov. 4).
• Has at least five tackles in seven of his 11 games.
• Transfer from the University of Northern Colorado - he saw action when UNC defeated Northwest on Nov. 30, 2002 during the playoff game at Bearcat Stadium.

#58 Senior defensive tackle Kyle Kaiser (Elkhorn, Neb.) - 2006 Captain
• Finished with 2.5 tackles for loss in win at Truman State (Sept. 16).
• Helped the Northwest defense limit Pittsburg State to 252 yards of total offense with 7 sacks, 2.0 sacks and 3.0 TFL’s.
• Third on the team with 9.5 tackles for loss.
• Honorable Mention All-MIAA at defensive lineman last season.
• His 32.0 career TFL’s is good for eighth in the Northwest Top 10 list (all games) and 13.0 sacks is tied for ninth.

#94 Senior defensive lineman Ryan Waters (Independence, Mo.) - 2006 Captain
• Holds the Northwest sack record with 21.5 sacks, 5.0 this year
• Fifth on the team in total tackles (37) and fifth with 5.5 tackles for loss.
• 2006 D2Football.com Preseason All-America Second Team pick on the defensive line.
• Notched first career interception in playoff win against Pittsburg State (Nov. 26, 2005).

#26 Junior cornerback Diezeas Calbert (Omaha, Neb.)
• Has four pass breakups and two interceptions this season.
• Recorded four tackles and had an interception in 31-14 win over Central Missouri (Oct. 28, 2006)
• Had first quarter interception in the Fall Classic that helped give Northwest an early 14-0 lead (Nov. 4, 2006)

Second Team Selection Notes:
#46 Junior linebacker Jared Erspamer (Omaha, Neb.)
• Stands with two season interceptions after getting his third career at Truman State (Sept. 16).
• Recovered a fumble and returned it 26 yards at Missouri Southern (Sept. 30).
• Second on the team thus far with 50 total tackles including personal-best 11 at MSSU.
• Grabbed first career interception, returning it 25 yards, in the win versus Central Missouri (Oct. 22, 2004).

#17 Junior quarterback Josh Mathews (St. Louis, Mo.)
• Broke a string of interception-free attempts on his 115th at Washburn (Oct. 15) - he did throw for a career-high 347 yards and personal-tying three scores.
• Has thrown for at least one TD in his last 12 starts dating back to 2004 - it is the 6th longest streak (since 1987).
• In first career start since Nov. 27, 2004, passed for 281 yards and a career-tying three touchdowns on 17-of-25 passing against Minnesota State (Sept. 2) in the season-opener.
• In his last 12 starts (dating back to 2004), has averaged 237 passing yards (2,847 yards) and thrown a total of 23 touchdowns.
• Stands 12-2 in his career when a starter.
• Ranks 3rd in NCAA in passing efficiency (165.2); 27th in total offense (228.1 ypg).
• Starting quarterback in final five games of the 2004 season - came on in relief of the injured Josh Lamberson versus Missouri Western (Oct. 16, 2004).

#74 Senior offensive lineman Joe Holtzclaw (Sedalia, Mo.) - 2006 Captain
• Listed as starting right tackle in 2006 - has started all 10 games this year.
• Held the starting spot at right tackles in all 15 games last season.
• Helped the offense total nearly 2,000 rushing yards (1,886) last year.

#96 Junior defensive lineman Dallas Flynn (Blair, Neb.)
• Racked up season-high six tackles, including 1.0 sack in win vs. MWSU (Sept. 23).
• First on the team with 5.0 sacks and third with 8.0 tackles for loss.
• Stands with 13.0 career sacks (all games) - tied for ninth on the school charts.
• Notched first career interception against Emporia State (Oct. 1, 2005).

#9 Sophomore cornerback Brandon Clayton (St. Louis, Mo.)
• Had game-clinching interception in Missouri Western 27-24 win (Sept. 23, 2006)
• Tied for first on the team in pass breakups with five.

First Team Offense
Toby Korrodi, UCM QB 6-4 220 Sr. San Antonio, Texas
‡Xavier Omon, NWMSU RB 6-0 210 Jr. Beatrice, Neb.
††Germaine Race, PSU RB 5-11 225 Sr. Warrensburg, Mo.
Jarrett Brooks, MWSU WR/KR 6-1 161 Sr. St. Louis, Mo.
Kendall Wright, NWMSU WR 5-11 170 So. Sulphur Springs, Texas
Mike Peterson, NWMSU TE 6-3 235 Jr. Atlantic, Iowa
*†Allan Barbre, MSSU OL 6-4 295 Sr. Granby, Mo.
Roger Allen, MWSU OL 6-4 277 So. Raytown, Mo.
Reid Kirby, NWMSU OL 6-4 290 Jr. Gladstone, Mo.
Pat Murray, TSU OL 6-4 315 Sr. Pochahontas, Iowa
Zac Robinson, PSU OL 6-5 275 Jr. Jenks, Okla.
†Nathan Alleman, PSU K 6-3 186 Sr. Bartlesville, Okla.
First Team Defense
††Michael Cobbins, MWSU DL 6-2 247 Sr. Kansas City, Mo.
Kyle Kaiser, NWMSU DL 6-0 285 Sr. Elkhorn, Neb.
†Trey Lewis, WU DL 6-3 290 Sr. Topeka, Kan.
Devin Rutledge, MSSU DL 6-3 260 Sr. Coolidge, Ariz.
Ryan Waters, NWMSU DL 6-3 250 Sr. Independence, Mo.
*Ben Harness, NWMSU LB 6-1 220 Sr. Jefferson City, Mo.
John Matthew Fisher, MWSU LB 6-1 217 Sr. St. Joseph, Mo.
Thomas Smith, NWMSU LB 6-0 230 Sr. Denver, Colo.
Diezeas Calbert, NWMSU DB 5-8 180 Sr. Omaha, Neb.
J.R. Graham, MWSU DB 6-0 210 Jr. Plattsburg, Mo.
†Kendall Ricketts, UCM DB 5-10 182 Jr. Raytown, Mo.
Brandon Stribling, ESU DB 6-2 186 Sr. Houston, Texas
†Fletcher Terrell, WU DB 6-1 190 Sr. Minnetonka, Minn.
*Jamie Hanson, MWSU P 5-11 192 So. Hamilton, Mo.
Five linemen and five backs selected due to ties in voting
*=Unanimous selection
†=Repeat first-team choice from 2005
††=Repeat first-team choice from 2004 & 2005
‡=Repeat first-team choice from 2004

Second Team Offense
Josh Mathews, NWMSU QB 6-3 205 Jr. St. Louis, Mo.
Trent Hearn, WU RB 6-1 220 Sr. Lancaster, Texas
Jeremiah White, MWSU RB 6-1 210 Sr. Mesa, Ariz.
Colin Bado, MSSU WR 5-6 173 Jr. McKinney, Texas
Brian Pray, PSU WR 5-9 165 Sr. Oklahoma City, Okla.
Gijon Robinson, MWSU TE 6-2 247 Jr. Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Drew Brown, PSU OL 6-2 298 Jr. Blue Springs, Mo.
Joel Griffiths, ESU OL 6-3 295 So. Norton, Kan.
Joe Holtzclaw, NWMSU OL 6-1 300 Sr. Sedalia, Mo.
Jeff Rickard, WU OL 6-3 296 Jr. Westminster, Colo.
Mike Rogers, SBU OL 6-3 250 Jr. Whitehall, Mont.
Mike Shelden, TSU OL 6-3 270 Sr. Eureka, Mo.
Dustin Strickler, MWSU K 6-1 185 So. Bellevue, Neb.
Ryan Hulings, ESU KR 5-9 170 Sr. Carbondale, Kan.
Six linemen selected due to a tie in the voting
Second Team Defense
Leon Douglas, MWSU DL 6-0 225 Sr. Kansas City, Mo.
Dallas Flynn, NWMSU DL 6-5 255 Jr. Blair, Neb.
Les Hammers, TSU DL 6-3 245 So. Jacksonville, Ill.
Ryan Meredith, PSU DL 6-2 227 Jr. Bartlesville, Okla.
Jared Erspamer, NWMSU LB 6-0 230 Jr. Omaha, Neb.
Darryl Reddick, TSU LB 5-11 237 Sr. Hammond, Ind.
Bruce Ringwood, WU LB 6-0 227 Jr. Blue Springs, Mo.
Adrian Singletary, UCM LB 5-9 210 So. Kansas City, Mo.
Greg Carbin, MWSU DB 6-0 174 Sr. Jefferson City, Mo.
Brandon Clayton, NWMSU DB 5-9 170 So. St. Louis, Mo.
Josh Mayson, TSU DB 6-3 199 Sr. Mexico, Mo.
Lester Shelton, SBU DB 5-8 153 Jr. Wharton, Texas
Matt Frankel, UCM P 6-0 200 So. Overland Park, Kan.
Four linebackers selected due to a tie in voting

Honorable Mention Offense
Robert Clardy, SBU QB 6-0 190 Sr. Marshfield, Mo.
Matt Ticich, TSU QB 6-0 195 So. Temecula, Calif.
Adam Hinspeter, MSSU QB 6-5 215 So. Centralia, Mo.
Jake Cunningham, TSU RB 5-10 210 Jr. Pontiac, Ill.
Jordan Hickel, FHSU RB 6-0 195 Jr. Claflin, Kan.
Jamison Burns, MWSU RB 5-9 182 Sr. DeSoto, Texas
ElRay Henry, ESU RB 6-1 230 Sr. San Jose, Calif.
Ryan Bonner, TSU WR 6-2 197 Sr. Tuscola, Ill.
Ryan Hulings, ESU WR 5-9 170 Sr. Carbondale, Kan.
Raphael Robinson, NWMSU WR 6-2 200 So. Kansas City, Kan.
Sam Sissom, WU WR 6-0 195 Sr. Kansas City, Mo.
Nick Smart, SBU WR 6-0 190 Jr. Marionville, Mo.
Robert Woodson, SBU WR 5-10 170 Sr. Olive Branch, Miss.
Matt Jacobsen, UCM WR 5-11 185 Sr. Shawnee, Kan.
John Luke Snyder, FHSU WR 5-11 190 Sr. Salida, Colo.
Brian Barta, PSU TE 6-6 250 Jr. LaCrosse, Kan.
Ryan King, TSU TE 6-3 205 So. St. Peters, Mo.
Ted Maxwell, UCM TE 6-4 250 Sr. Kansas City, Mo.
Lucas Sullivan, ESU FB 6-0 230 So. Tippecanoe, Ohio
Eric Eisenbarth, WU OL 6-2 285 Jr. Holton, Kan.
Travis Greer, PSU OL 6-3 319 So. Olathe, Kan.
Mike Gunselman, UCM OL 6-3 304 So. Kansas City, Mo.
Shane McGinnis, PSU OL 6-6 301 So. Joplin, Mo.
Gabe Frank, NWMSU OL 6-3 295 Sr. St. Louis, Mo.
Tyrone McCormick, TSU OL 6-4 296 Sr. Bloomington, Minn.
Tom Pestock, NWMSU OL 6-6 300 Jr. Lenexa, Kan.
Daryl Porter, SBU OL 6-0 289 Jr. Azle, Texas
Patrick St. Louis, MWSU OL 6-1 252 Jr. Belton, Mo.
Ryan Taillon, FHSU OL 6-6 300 Jr. Fountain, Colo.
Mickey Masucci, TSU K 6-0 165 Fr. Wildwood, Mo.
Harrison Kush, PSU KR 5-9 167 So. Louisburg, Kan.
Fletcher Terrell, WU KR 6-1 190 Sr. Minnetonka, Minn.
Chandler Terry, TSU KR 5-7 156 Jr. Marshall, Mo.
Honorable Mention Defense
A.J. Franklin, ESU DL 6-3 260 Jr. Lincoln, Neb.
Eric Lawrence, WU DL 6-2 246 So. Belle Glade, Fla.
David Martin, SBU DL 6-4 234 Sr. Oakland, Calif.
Junis McDowell, ESU DL 6-2 230 Jr. Shawnee, Kan.
Albert Rodriguez, FHSU DL 6-1 290 Jr. Council Bluffs, Iowa
Ahmad Spry, MWSU DL 6-2 250 Sr. Palm Springs, Calif.
Terry Bilbro, NWMSU DL 6-2 295 Jr. Eagan, Minn.
Elbert Johnson, MSSU DL 6-1 245 Sr. Independence, Mo.
Kyle Mayden, MSSU DL 6-0 270 Sr. Lockwood, Mo.
Jon Miller, MWSU DL 6-2 280 Sr. Oakland, Calif.
B.J. Russow, MSSU DL 6-0 241 Jr. Seneca, Mo.
Hoang Mai, FHSU LB 5-10 220 Sr. Riverside, Calif.
Jason Northern, PSU LB 6-0 220 Jr. Broken Arrow, Okla.
Jarred Schumpert, SBU LB 6-0 215 So. Marshall, Texas
Zach Watkins, WU LB 6-0 220 Fr. Independence, Mo.
Rod Washington, UCM LB 6-0 215 Sr. Jacksonville, Fla.
Ben Augustin, MSSU DB 5-8 175 Sr. Miramar, Fla.
Myles Burnsides, NWMSU DB 5-11 185 Fr. Maryville, Mo.
Jesse Cooper, TSU DB 5-10 188 Jr. Miami, Fla.
Nick Dellasega, PSU DB 6-0 195 Jr. Pittsburg, Kan.
Brad Kester, MWSU DB 5-11 180 Sr. Citrus Heights, Calif.
C.J. Lovett, FHSU DB 6-1 185 Fr. Thornton, Colo.
Bryan McMurtrey, PSU DB 5-11 177 So. Kansas City, Kan.
Jake Richter, ESU DB 5-11 195 Jr. Clay Center, Kan.
Randy Shepherd, UCM DB 5-10 180 Fr. Kansas City, Kan.
Justin Brown, UCM DB 6-1 205 Jr. Blue Springs, Mo.
Moses Manga, MSSU DB 5-11 175 Sr. Winfield, Kan.
Chauncey Mayfield, MWSU DB 5-11 166 Jr. Richardson, Texas
Brandon Pratt, NWMSU DB 6-0 185 Sr. St. Joseph, Mo.
Ben Boswell, WU P 6-0 179 Sr. Lenexa, Kan.
Most Valuable Offensive Player:
Germaine Race, RB, PSU
(repeat selection from 2005)
Most Valuable Defensive Player:
Trey Lewis, DL, WU
Co-Freshmen of the Year:
C.J. Lovett, DB/KR, FHSU & Zach Watkins, LB, WU
Wilson® Coach of the Year:
Mel Tjeerdsma ,NWMSU